MIA05LA150
MIA05LA150

On August 13, 2005, about 1119 eastern daylight time, a Globe GC-1B, N2219S, registered to Swift N2219S Corporation, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with trees shortly after takeoff from Indian River Aerodrome, a private airstrip located in Vero Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 local, personal flight from Indian River Aerodrome. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private-rated pilot, the sole occupant, sustained serious injuries. The flight originated about 1116, from Indian River Aerodrome.

The pilot stated that the airplane was fueled last on July 18th, when the main fuel tanks were filled. A total of 19.38 gallons of 100 low lead (100LL) fuel were added. The airplane was then flown on a 12 minute flight to where it is based, and not flown or operated until the accident flight. Prior to the accident flight he performed a preflight inspection which included checking the fuel for water; none was found. After starting the engine he confirmed fuel and oil pressure, and taxied to runway 35 where he performed an engine run-up. During the run-up he checked the carburetor heat which indicated normal rpm drop, and also performed a check of the magnetos three times. The magneto check produced normal rpm decrease. He turned on the fuel boost pump, advised on the UNICOM frequency that the flight was departing from runway 35, applied full power, and began the takeoff roll with an estimated 23 gallons of fuel on-board. He applied forward pressure on the control yoke, raised the tail, then became airborne. He also reported that the takeoff roll was "...perhaps a little slow, but it was a warm day and the grass was of medium height." The flight continued and after clearing 2 tall trees at the end of the runway, he noticed the engine rpm dropped from 2,200 to 2,100. He initially verbally reported that the airplane kept sinking and mushing, veered to the left, and would not respond to right rudder input. The airplane collided with orange trees and after coming to rest, he escaped from the wreckage and called his wife for assistance on his cell phone.

Preliminary examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed the oil filler cap was secure, and the engine compartment was clean. The throttle control was noted to be binding, but the mixture control was noted to move OK. The fuel selector was found in the main position.

During recovery of the airplane, the wings were removed. According to recovery personnel, no fuel was noted in either outboard fuel tank.

Examination of the engine by an FAA airworthiness inspector on February 5, 2007, revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. Clean lubricating oil was noted inside the engine. Suction and compression was noted in all cylinders, though the No. 2 cylinder was noted to be low but not quantified. The rocker boss cover of the No. 2 cylinder was removed, and valve and piston action was noted during rotation of the engine. Rotation of the engine by hand produced spark at all ignition leads of both magnetos, and all spark plugs exhibited color consistent with "...burning very clean." The spark plugs appeared to be recently cleaned and gapped, and there were no observed discrepancies with the ignition harness. The carburetor was separated from the engine above the carburetor bowl, but remained connected to the engine by the throttle and mixture control cables. Visual examination of the carburetor revealed the venturi was in-position. There were no broken fuel or oil lines in the engine compartment. Examination of the fuel pump revealed the screen was clean, and a small quantity of fuel was noted in the fuel pump cavity. Examination of the propeller revealed both blades were "...bent smoothly aft, with no rotational bending, and no leading edge damage." Examination of the wings revealed no damage to the fuel tanks in the wing panels.

The fuel system of the airplane consists of 2 interconnected 13.9 gallon metal fuel tanks located within the center section of the airframe, or just outboard of each wing root (designated main tank), a 9-gallon tank located in the fuselage aft of the seats (designated fuselage reserve), and a 13 gallon fuel tank located in the outer portion of each wing (designated wing reserve). The outlet of each fuel tank located outboard of each wing root (main tank) connects to a common "sump", and the outlet of the sump connects to the fuel selector valve, which has a "main" position. The fuel from the outlet of the fuel selector valve flows through a filter, then to either an auxiliary or mechanical fuel pump, then to the carburetor.

The fuel system was examined by an airframe and powerplant (A & P) mechanic with inspection authorization (IA) on February 8, 2007. Both wings were removed, and the airplane was leaning to the left. The left main fuel tank was nearly full; an estimated 13 gallons of 100LL fuel were drained from the tank. No fuel contaminants were noted. No fuel was noted in the right main fuel tank. The mechanic believed there was no fuel in the right main fuel tank because the tanks are interconnected and also the way the airplane was leaning. The auxiliary fuel pump and fuel strainer filters were both clean, and no obstructions were noted from either main fuel tank thru the fuel selector valve, then forward to the mechanical fuel pump. The fuel selector was examined and found to "...move firmly when turned from one station to another." The fuel vent lines were clear.

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